Four-star running back Omarion Hampton is announcing his commitment on Thursday, and in the last few days leading up to his decision he released a top three of Florida, North Carolina and Penn State.

The Clayton (N.C.) Cleveland standout would be a major pickup for any program in the country as Hampton is ranked as the ninth-best running back in a class that only has one five-star in Branson Robinson but has exceptional depth at the position.

Running backs are coming off the board quickly as Robinson is expected to announce Thursday as well, with Georgia leading the way. TreVonte’ Citizen committed to LSU on Monday, four-star Kaytron Allen picked Penn State and others have pledged as well. Nine of the top 13 backs are now off the board, with two more commitments coming Thursday.

In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network break down Hampton’s top three and then National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney issues a verdict on where he sees the four-star running back going.

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  FLORIDA  

Florida right now is probably second and North Carolina is the frontrunner. Florida wants two running backs in the class and Hampton is near the very top for them but there are other names as well, including in-state running backs Jaylon Glover and Terrance Gibbs. Based on what I’m hearing, North Carolina is the frontrunner based on location and that would make sense, along with the opportunity for Hampton to play in Chapel Hill. But Florida is battling and does want multiple running backs in this class. – Corey Bender, GatorsTerritory.com

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  NORTH CAROLINA  

Hampton has been on the North Carolina campus the most of any class of 2022 prospect. He attended several public spring practices, the spring game and he took full advantage of the June 1 open period with multiple unofficial visits capped off by an official visit the last weekend of June. The Tar Heels made him a priority recruit, being an in-state kid. They have a great pitch to him by having two running backs selected in the NFL Draft in Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. – Deana King, TarHeelIllustrated.com

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PENN STATE  

Penn State won’t be the school for Hampton because the Nittany Lions just picked up commitments from Rivals250 running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. However, they were close to landing Hampton, who I had listed as 1B on Penn State’s recruiting board, along with Singleton.

Following his official visit, sources close to Penn State felt good about the Nittany Lions’ chances. There was even talk that he may decide sooner than expected, which is why I believe North Carolina ended up using an official visit to get him on campus that final weekend in June. The original plan, from what I understand, was for Hampton to save that UNC official visit for the season. Ultimately, I believe his family wanted him to stay closer to home, which is why the Tar Heels should be the school. – Ryan Snyder, BlueWhiteIllustrated.com

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  THE VERDICT

North Carolina looks like the pick, and I would be shocked if Hampton does not commit to the Tar Heels on Thursday. Penn State has loaded up with Singleton and Allen, and Florida – while very interested in Hampton and would certainly take him – has its sights set on Glover and Gibbs, even with some injury concerns for the four-star running back.

It just makes sense that the Tar Heels will win out – and they’re probably not done at running back, either, as four-star George Pettaway looks like he’s leaning to North Carolina as well. The Tar Heels can sell the success of Williams and Carter, the program’s turnaround and so much more.

My bet is that Hampton has bought in and could be the next big-time back in Chapel Hill. – Adam Gorney, Rivals National Recruiting Director



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